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BMC soigneur implicated in drug investigation

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 30, 2011, 7:11 BST,
Updated:
June 30, 2011, 17:35 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 30, 2011
The BMC riders await the start

The BMC riders await the start

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Team plays down role of 'Sven S'

A BMC soigneur has been arrested after a long-running investigation into his connection with a shipment of drugs seized at Brussels airport in 2009. The investigation has taken 18 months and ultimately led to the arrest of 'Sven S.' according to Belgium newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. Several other media have reported that the package contained 200 doses of EPO.

Details of the arrest are still unclear, though the soigneur is reported to still be in custody after being arrested on Monday. He as admitted to police that the shipment was for him but is insisting the drugs were for his own personal use.

The BMC team has tried to play down their links with Sven S. Belgian directeur sportif John Lelangue did not want to comment, while team manager Jim Ochowicz has said that he doesn't know 'Sven S'.

"A part-time soigneur for us? His name means nothing to me. I also don't know anything about an arrest. This is the first I've heard of it," he said.

Greg Van Avermaet also denied any soigneur by that name working for BMC.

"Sven S.? Yes, that name sounds familiar. I don't think he work for BMC though. I've never seen the guy at a race."

However the BMC official website lists Belgian soigneur Sven Schoutteten as part of their staff for the recent Giro della Toscana one-day race and the Skoda Velothon race in Berlin on May 22 , where Lelangue was directeur sportif and Van Avermaet was part of the team.  

On Wednesday it also emerged that former Silence-Lotto rider Wim Vansevenant is caught up in an investigation after Belgian custom officials intercepted a package containing the banned drug TB-500.

Vansevenant claimed the veterinary drug was for his own use and not for riders at the current Omega Pharma-Lotto team. He was due to drive VIP guests for the team at the Tour de France but the Belgian team has quickly cut ties with him and denied any involvement in the case.

Team leader Philippe Gilbert has threatened legal action and reaffirmed his stance against doping after his name was dragged into reports of Vansevenant case.

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